This healthy cake recipe is made of mainly coconut and kidney beans. You wouldn’t guess it from the taste as even people that don’t like beans or coconut have loved this cake. It’s rich, chocolatey, moist and creamy despite being vegan and gluten-free.
It tastes great so is suitable for everyone including nut-free, gluten-free, grain-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and oil-free diets. That may sound like a long list but trust me this healthy cake is delicious and avoids all the main allergens.
Kidney Bean and Coconut Chocolate Cake Recipe
- Total time: 1h 20m
- Yield: 8 servings
- Calories: 280 cal
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- 1 can Kidney beans, 420g
- 5 tbsp Chia seeds
- 15 tbsp water
- 2 cups / 120 grams Desiccated coconut
- 3/4 cup / 75g Cocoa/cacao powder
- 1 cup / 175g pitted Dates
- 5 tbsp Coconut sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 can Coconut milk, 400ml
- 2 tbsp Cacao nibs
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.
- Grind chia seeds until broken then mix with the water.
- Place desiccated coconut into your food processor and blend until it starts to clump together, about a minute.
- Add everything else to the food processor (bar the coconut milk) and blend for a few mins until combined.
- Spread the mixture into a lined pan about 7″ in diameter.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes until a knife comes out clean.
- Leave to cool and firm up – as it’s gluten-free it won’t become firm until cool.
- Open your coconut milk and take off just the solid cream and leave the liquid for smoothies. Chill your can overnight if it is not separated into water and cream.
- Whisk the coconut cream for a minute.
- Slice the cake in half horizontally.
- Spread the whipped coconut cream into the middle and top of the cake.
- Sprinkle on the cacao nibs or any other garnish you like.
- Eat within 3 days and store in the fridge.
- All tbsp for dry ingredients are heaped, as they are for all my recipes.
- Use unsweetened desiccated / shredded coconut.
- The kidney beans can be replaced by black beans if you prefer.
- If you’re a coffee lover then try adding a shot of espresso to the mix.
- If your kidney beans have salt added then omit the salt in the recipe.
- Pick a brand of coconut milk that you can tell is separated into cream and water.
- Always use full-fat coconut milk to make the coconut whipped cream frosting.
Kidney Bean and Coconut Chocolate Cake Video
With this cake the dough is fine to taste before baking to make sure the right level of sweetness and chocolate is present. In fact, I could quite happily just eat the dough raw like cookie dough.
Chia seeds are used instead of eggs here as they help make a fluffy cake with a great texture. They don’t quite have the same lift so this cake is denser than a typical chocolate cake.
I was originally going to bake this in two halves, just like the chocolate quinoa avocado fudge cake, but while making I changed my mind as the dough was quite solid. I also was concerned that the coconut cream in the middle wouldn’t stay in place once sandwiched. After it was baked I took the somewhat risky decision to slice in half and it worked out really well (even with awful knife skills due to filming from two camera angles).
If you’re not going to be icing the cake then it works well to add half a cup of oats into the cake mixture. These help keep it bit more moist and fluffy as it can be a bit dry if it isn’t frosted.
I often make this as a tray bake and dollop on coconut cream just to make life easier.
A small jug blender or coffee grinder works well to grind the chia seeds. If you don’t have one then just blend using a food processor – you just have to be careful about adding ingredients in the right order. With just a food processor and add the coconut and chia seeds dry first and blitz for a few minutes until they’re all broken up. You can make in a bullet device but it is a bit fiddly as it needs to be done in several batches and shook while blending.
This cake is oil-free and the fats mainly come from the coconut meat and chia seeds. Obviously, it still contains lots of fats from the seeds but they haven’t been processed and refined to remove just the fat so the fiber is still present.
As you might have guessed I’m no expert at baking – it’s no coincidence that all my recipes are simple and easy. Lots of cake recipes do say to do things in a certain order, adding slowly until just the right point has been reached. I don’t find this is necessary for this cake to work out really well – just blend everything together and bake! The final result does have a fudgy almost uncooked texture to it, but this is due to the ingredients.
I thought one tin of coconut milk wouldn’t be enough to ice the cake. But honestly, a thin layer of the coconut cream is more than enough as it’s so rich. You can add some sweetness and vanilla to the cream when you whip it if you like. I felt that with the sweetness of the cake that just pure coconut cream would work best.